Will your holiday drinking affect your child? If you’re jetting off to somewhere hot and sunny or just staying on the shores of the UK, you may be looking forward to the sun, the sea, the sand and also the opportunity to kick back, relax and enjoy a glass of wine or two, and maybe a cocktail?
However, before you dive head first into that bottle of crisp white chablis, advice from Drinkaware, may give you reason to leave the bottle in the mini bar until the children have gone to bed….
Ahead of the summer holidays, a time of year when parents may be more likely to drink in front of their children, research by alcohol education charity Drinkaware reveals that 44% of parents in the UK who drink in front of their child say they witness their children mimicking their drinking behaviour – such as saying ‘cheers’ or pretending to sip alcohol.
However, despite this, more than half of those parents admitted it did not make them reconsider how much alcohol they drink in front of their child. Of those parents who were prompted to reduce their drinking in front of their child as a result, fathers were more likely to say they now drink less in front of their children than mothers.
Summer holidays are here…
Now that the summer holidays are upon us, it is a timely reminder to parents to think about their position as role models when it comes to alcohol, as 41% of those questioned say their own drinking habits have been influenced by their parent’s drinking.
We all know that our children like to play grown up and mimic our habits and mannerisms, from putting on makeup to pretending to drive the car. However it’s important to think about the other behaviours we may inadvertently pass on to our children.
Particularly at this time of year, when most families will be looking forward to their summer holiday, it’s important to remind ourselves that when it comes to alcohol, it’s not just how we talk about it, but how much and how often we drink in front of our children that makes an impact. If you find yourself saying “we’re on holiday, let’s have another bottle” or “I’m really stressed out, I need a drink!” it can confirm in children’s minds that drinking is just what you do, regardless of occasion.
That’s why if you choose to drink alcohol in front of your child it’s important to be aware of your position as a good role model and to talk to them about the risks associated with drinking underage so that, if they choose to drink alcohol when they grow up, they do so moderately.
Chief Executive at Drinkaware
For more information and expert advice on talking to your children about alcohol visit: www.drinkaware.co.uk/underagedrinking
Where to next
- Read more about being a parent in Home and Lifestyle